What is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how does it work?

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Hi, I'm Brooke

I’m an NLP & Hypnosis trainer and business mentor. I LOVE helping you take your coaching business to the next level.

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NLP is making a huge comeback right now. It has the power to create huge internal shifts that can result in big changes in your life. Learning how to use NLP for yourself or in your coaching business gives you the ability to work on your mindset, go deeper with your clients and increase your prices.

 

Keep reading to learn more about what NLP is, how to use it in your life & business and to get real examples of techniques.

 

I first learned about NLP a few years ago. I came across someone online who was holding a coach training and NLP was part of it. I had never even heard of NLP before and didn’t do too much research into what it was before I signed up for the training.

 

The very first experience I had with NLP was a technique called single belief change. The trainer asked the group if anyone had a limiting belief about themselves they wanted to let go of. My hand shot up so fast and so high before I had a chance to consciously think about what I was doing. When the trainer asked what the belief was I said it was that “people don’t like me.” Until that moment I didn’t really know I had that belief or how much it had impacted me.

 

With the single belief change technique, we changed how my brain stored the belief that “people don’t like me”. We moved that belief to store it the same way my brain stores beliefs that are no longer true so that became a belief I used to have instantly and was no longer a belief I currently have. Then we integrated a positive belief that “people like me”. The whole process to about 15 minutes and I felt the change instantly. I went to get off my chair and I was a little wobbly on my feet. My brain was making some big changes, and it worked. This is why I love teaching and talking about NLP.

 

 

 

What is NLP?

NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming. Now let’s break that down a little more;

Neuro: Neurology – The components of your neurology; The physical parts of your brain and the non-physical mental and emotional aspects.

Linguistic: Language – The words you use to communicate with yourself (your self-talk) and others to interpret and express your experience of the world.

Programming: Strategy – How your experiences, perceptions, beliefs, patterns and emotions impact the actions you take and the results you get.

 

To put it simply, NLP is the users manual for your mind.

 

The core process of NLP is modeling – Which means that if we find someone else who is achieving success in something, we can figure out their process for doing things the way they do it and apply it to our own lives.

 

The creators of NLP first did this by finding amazing therapists and hypnotherapists and figuring out EXACTLY how they did things to be so amazing at them, made a process out of it and taught it to other people.

 

It was developed in the 1970’s and has been evolving ever since. The great thing about NLP is that the methodologies that are part of it keep growing and we keep discovering more ways to use it and expand it.

 

NLP can truly help you understand how your mind works. It can help you connect more deeply to your intuition so you can delve deeper into how you are creating your reality and the programs that are running on autopilot so you can intentionally shift them.

How does NLP work?

There are many different concepts and techniques that make up NLP. I’m going to share and break down the ones I’ve found most valuable as a coach and trainer so you can get a better understanding of what each one is, how it’s used and its benefits.

 

NLP model of communication

 

This is one of my absolute FAVOURITE things to share and teach because it literally explains how we manifest. I don’t know if the creators knew (maybe they still aren’t aware) of what they were unveiling when they put this together. I just did an Instagram live where I explained this which you can watch here. Here’s a quick breakdown for you;

 

There are 2.3 million bits of information coming into our awareness from the external world. This could be the street sounds outside, the bird flying past your head, the feeling of your clothes on your skin. Literally, everything that is going on around you. This is way too much information for your conscious mind to think about and process so it does a few things to narrow all of that information down and only processes 126 bits of information. That’s a huge difference!

 

So all this information comes in and it gets deleted, distorted and generalised out of your awareness. It doesn’t go away, you just aren’t aware of it (this is important for later). Your brain completely deletes some of it out of your awareness (e.g. when someone says something to you but you don’t hear it), it distorts it into something else, or generalises a statement or assumption about something (e.g. that black thing moving quickly past my head is a bird).

 

This information is filtered down to 126 bits according to our unique filters; These are Meta Programs, Belief Systems, Values, Decisions, and Memories. The information comes in, it’s filtered down, we construct a thought. Many thoughts come together to create internal representations which are our maps of reality. Your internal representations can be made up of a combination of pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells.

 

Your internal representations trigger your internal state which impacts the actions you take and the actions you take to determine the results you experience.

The reality you experience is determined by what happens in your mind. Caveat: I am NOT talking about the external events that you don’t have control over ie. a global pandemic. I AM talking about how you perceive and react to those external events. In each moment you are manipulating external information to create a subjective experience that is shaped by the subconscious programming that has created your filters.

 

Everything you desire is already available to you. All the opportunities you desire are already available to you. All of the abundance you desire is already available to you. All of the information you need to achieve your goals is already available to you. You’re just deleting, distorting and generalising it out of your awareness based on your subconscious programming.

 

This is how manifestation works. You experience what you are aware of. Your programming determines what you are aware of. NLP helps to transform your subconscious programs so you can become aware of your goals and what will get you closer to them.

 

Mind-blowing stuff, isn’t it?

 

This is important to know as a coach because you want to make sure you’re saying things that will help your client create internal representations of what’s possible for them and that will lead them to take actions that will get the results they desire. Knowing how to use this with your clients is imperative because you learn how to communicate more effectively with them.

 

If you want to learn more about how you can apply this to your life and the work you do with your clients The Created Coach Method is the perfect place to start.

 

 

What do NLP practitioners do?

 

A lot of coaches are learning NLP because they are such amazing coaching tools to use with clients that are after support achieving their goals.

 

Here’s how I teach my Created Coach Method students to use NLP in their coaching sessions:

 

Get to know the client and uncover what their goals are and what they’d like to work on in the session – It’s important to listen to any limiting beliefs or stories that may come up
Identify the root problem by asking questions and using NLP communication tools

Do change work on the root cause – determine the client’s strategy for doing the problem (using NLP strategies) and determine the best way to help your client move forward. This may be more questioning (using the Meta Model), an NLP technique or Hypnosis.

Now that your client has a new model of the world, work with them to create new possibilities and goals.

Help your client integrate the changes and put their new goals into their future timeline using T.I.M.E. Techniques.

Using NLP in your coaching business isn’t about bombarding your clients with techniques hoping something will work. Everything you do with your clients should be very intentional which is why learning coaching tools like NLP is so important. We start by uncovering the root cause of our clients’ issue and then determining how they play out that problem (tip: never call it a “problem” to your client) each time so you can determine what to do to help them move forward.

 

NLP is so effective in coaching because it provides coaches with a framework, tools and techniques to help their clients effectively create change in their lives. Most NLP coaches will incorporate their own unique skills and experience into their practice which means every practitioner/coach will have a different approach when working with their clients.

 

 

What are some of the main NLP techniques?

 

There are so many different NLP techniques that have been created. I’m going to share my top 5 techniques that I love to use with my clients and for myself. Each of these techniques is part of The Created Coach Method.

 

1. Anchoring

Anchoring is one of the very first techniques I do with my clients and students because it really helps to create a solid foundation for us to work together and for them to achieve their goals.

 

Anchoring is based on the research by Ivan Pavlov where he discovered that the dogs he was using in his experiments would begin to salivate in anticipation that they were about to eat. The interesting thing is the anticipation was triggered by Pavlov ringing a tuning fork. He had trained the dogs to have an internal response to an external stimulus.

 

With NLP anchoring we can create this same process. We can link a desired internal response, such as confidence, to an external stimulus, such as pressing on a knuckle. The process is super simple, quick and VERY effective!

 

Is there a song that you listened to when you were younger and when you listen to it know it takes you right back to the time when you first heard it and the memories and feeling flood back to you? Or how about a certain scent that when someone walks past you on the street wearing it, it reminds you of someone or something else? That’s what anchoring is.

 

You can imagine how this would be really powerful to use with your clients, can’t you? You can even record one and include in your coaching or courses for your clients to access at any point.

 

 

2. Single Belief Change

 

This was the very first NLP technique I ever experienced personally and it completely changed my life.

 

I used to have the belief that people didn’t like me. As soon as I met someone I immediately thought they didn’t like me. I felt like I’d have to prove to them I was a good person or that I was nice or funny or whatever. I had the belief for my entire life. It impacted the relationships I had and often meant I would push someone away or leave a relationship before they had the chance to leave me. Ad as with all beliefs, many more limiting beliefs were created to uphold this one.

 

With the single belief change technique, we changed the submodalities of the belief “people don’t like me”. Submodalities are the building blocks of how you represent a belief internally. So we went through the belief and the practitioner asked “is the belief black and white or colour? Is it near or far? Is it moving or still?” and other questions related to sounds that were present and feelings that were present. As she was asking I was answering based on the image I had in my mind’s eye of the belief. For me, the belief that “people don’t like me” was black, really close to my face and panoramic.

 

Then we did the same process for a belief I used to have that is no longer true, which was “I am a baby.” We chose a belief that is no longer true so that and past experiences I had from the first belief wouldn’t contradict the change. If we had made it so that I had never believed that people don’t like me I would have a lifetime of evidence and other beliefs that show otherwise.

 

Then we switched the submodalities for the belief that people don’t like me to match the belief that I used to have that’s no longer true so then the belief that people don’t like me became something I used to believe.

 

The change was instant.

 

There were a few more steps with the same process to install a new positive belief.

 

I immediately felt the shift. I actually needed a minute before I was able to get up from the chair.

 

This technique changed my life and it was at that moment I got to experience the power of NLP.

 

I don’t think I would be where I’m at today without this technique. The change I experienced is profound and opened the door for me to be able to look at other beliefs I had created that were limiting me.

 

Imagine using this technique with your clients. What kinds of things do you think you could help them with using this technique?

 

It may seem like there are quite a few steps involved, but there’s an entire script inside the Created Coach Method practitioner manual and demonstration videos of real examples.

 

 

3. Swish Pattern

 

This is a super fun technique! This technique is used to change behaviours that have a visual trigger. For example, I see my fingernails, then I bite them. I have used this technique to help people be able to access and experience an identity change. One client was nervous about speaking on stage so we used the swish pattern to help her see herself as someone who is confident speaking on stage.

 

In this technique, the client is guided along a process to either determine the visual trigger for the unwanted behaviour or access the internal representation (picture, sounds and feelings) of their unwanted identity.

 

Then we determine the desired behaviour or identity. The client is instructed to make the old behaviour/identity fill the screen, and the new behaviour/identity is in the bottom left corner then, on the practitioner’s instruction, rapidly shrink the old behaviour/identity and the new one fills the screen. This process is repeated multiple times until the client cant access the old behaviour/identity anymore and the new one automatically comes up.

 

This is a really fast-moving technique and that’s an essential part of the technique. We want our clients to automatically access the new behaviour/identity whenever they think of the old one or if the old trigger comes up.

 

It’s another really powerful and effective technique that I LOVE to teach and to use with my clients.

 

4. Meta Model

 

The meta model isn’t a technique, but a useful questioning framework. Remember right at the beginning I shared about the NLP model of communication and how we delete, distort and generalise information? Well, your clients do the same thing when they are communicating. When they’re describing a challenge or experience or belief they are also deleting, distorting and generalising the information they’re using to convey their message.

 

The meta model helps to uncover lost information and challenge and expand the limits of a persons model of the world. We can use the questions from the meta model when we’re in sessions with clients to help coach them more effectively towards their goals.

 

Here are some examples of Meta model questioning:

 

Mind Reading: Claiming to know someone’s internal state.
Client: “You don’t like me.”
Coach: “How do you know I don’t like you?”

 

Universal Quantifiers: Universal Generalizations such as all, every, never, everyone, no one, etc.
Client: “She never listens to me.”
Coach: Find Counterexamples. “Never?” “What would happen if she did?”

 

Unspecified Verbs:
Client: “He rejected me.”
Coach: “How, specifically?”

 

There are lots more question frameworks in the meta model but this gives you an example of how you can use it with your clients. Think about your clients or even the people around you and how having access to this kind of framework would help you communicate with them more effectively. Imagine how having this framework that would help you understand them better and how it would benefit your coaching sessions.

 

5. T.I.M.E. Techniques

T.I.M.E. Techniques is one of my favourites (they’re all my favourite? ). T.I.M.E. Techniques using the unconscious mind representation of when a limiting belief or decision was created to change the perception of the experience and get positive learnings from it. It turns past “negative” experiences into powerful positive resources.

 

There are a few different techniques in T.I.M.E. Techniques. The first is releasing a “negative” emotion. I put it in quotation marks here because I don’t believe negative emotions are bad. They are human experiences. It’s holding onto them over times that’s disempowering. SO with T.I.M.E Techniques we can release the emotional attachment to the past negative experience, get a positive learning and change what we made it mean about ourselves.

 

We can also put a goal in our future timeline. I LOVE doing this one with all of my students and clients. I have seen so crazy stuff happen from this and I know it is super powerful! The power isn’t in the technique, but in what we do when we use the unconscious mind to consciously create our future. By putting a goal in our future timeline we have a clear goal to work towards that our unconscious mind assumes is already a done deal, so it is able to work towards it much more effectively.

 

This is a technique that can be done in 1:1 sessions as well as group sessions and even as a pre-recorded session to put into an online course.

 

 

How can you use NLP in your coaching business?

NLP provides you with effective tools that you can use with your clients to help them create the results they desire. There are so many different ways you can incorporate NLP tools and techniques into your coaching business.

 

For example, if you have 1:1 clients you can create a signature package guiding your clients through a specific journey that gets them to their goals. You can start out in your first session by doing a deep dive and doing some anchoring and T.I.M.E. Techniques. Then as you go along you can either do live hypnosis sessions on calls or you can share pre-recorded hypnosis tracks with them.

 

You’ll have a lot of different tools that help you listen to your clients more effectively, notice when they have limiting beliefs and limiting decisions, coach them to make decisions that are right for them, focus on their future goals and let go of the past, and so much more.

 

So you can see how learning NLP and other coaching modalities can help you help your clients reach their goals more effectively. They can’t do these things for themselves (that’s why they want a coach to help them) and most coaches don’t have these kinds of skills.

 

You can also incorporate all of these techniques into your group programs. You can pre-record a lot of the content and add it into each of the modules to help support your clients at specific points in their journey. You can pre-record anchoring, hypnosis, T.I.M.E. Techniques, EFT, etc. You can even do some on the live group calls and that will benefit all of the people on the call, not just the person who is being coached at that moment.

 

Another way I incorporate NLP into my coaching business is by doing single sessions. These are one-off coaching sessions (not part of a long term coaching package) that usually last around 2 hours. I have a pre-session intake form that I use to get as much detail about my client, their struggles and their goals as possible so I don’t have to spend too much time doing that on the call. Then when we’re in the session I incorporate any NLP, Hypnosis, T.I.M.E. Techniques or EFT I think is appropriate for that specific client. Sometimes I do the hypnosis in the session or I’ll get all the details I need and record one and send it to them after the session.

 

As you can see, learning NLP gives you a huge range of skills and tools you can use in your business. My business completely changed when I learned NLP and my students experience the same thing when they learn it too. As a coach, your clients are your number one priority. If you expect them to invest in themselves, you have to be willing to do the same for yourself. If you expect your clients to do the work they need to do to get the results they desire, you have to be willing to do that too. I never ask my students or clients to do things I’m not willing to do. And if I do ask them to do something, I do it first if I can.

 

When you’re ready to take your education to the next level, The Created Coach Method is the program for you.

 

The Created Coach Method is a fully online program that you can complete at your own pace. You can follow our guide to complete everything in 3 months, or you can create a plan to complete everything in 6 or 12 months if that works best for you.

 

We have regular group calls where you’ll get to practice your techniques, ask questions and connect with the other students in the program.

 

Everything inside this program has been intentionally created to give you the tools, strategy and confidence to truly make an impact with your business and to see the results you’ve been looking for.

 

I have purposely created a program that far exceeds everything else on the market and gives you a complete set of skills and tools that will help you become an effective and ethical coach so you can increase your impact, profits and authority.

 

You’ll finish with a solid strategy and skills that work and help you reach your business goals.

 

That’s it! I LOVE NLP and I’m so glad I get to share this with you!

 

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8/23/2021

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What is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how does it work?

© 2021 Brooke alexander   |   photography by WHITNEY ERIN PHOTOGRAPHY & unsplash